Liverpool Opinion: Reds should beat Man United to sign Noussair Mazraoui
The 21-year-old Dutch-born, Moroccan-blooded right-back has established himself as one of the mainstays of Erik ten Hag’s hugely-impressive Ajax side that has knocked out the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in the UEFA Champions League to make it to the semi-finals of the competition this season.
Mazraoui graduated from the widely-revered Ajax academy and made his Eredivisie debut last season but he has really come of age this time around and has taken his game to a completely different level.
The 21-year-old right-back has registered 4 goals and 4 assists from 43 appearances for Ajax in all competitions and his scintillating form has put him on the radar of some of the top clubs in Europe.
Essentially a right-back, the Moroccan has also been utilised in a holding midfield role in the Eredivisie, owing to his superior passing and game-reading attributes.
Gifted with a good understanding of the game and remarkable speed of thought, he is someone who reads the transitions in play perfectly, anticipating quicker than the opposition to cut out the attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions.
The 21-year-old has also shown a level of maturity that belies his tender years both in terms of decision-making and composure. He seems unfazed by the opposition’s attacking threat and always tends to put his team on the front foot with powerful overlapping runs down the flanks.
The youngster is a good passer of the ball, both in attacking situations and at the back, which not only allows him to play out from the back effortlessly but also link up with his teammates to create chances in the final third.
To put things into perspective, Noussair Mazraoui looks like a real talent at this stage of his career and he would be an ideal signing for both Man United and Liverpool.
While United should be looking to bring him in to take over the reins at right-back from Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, Liverpool can look at the youngster as a good enough option to push Trent Alexander-Arnold for a first-team place at Anfield.
James Milner has filled in admirably at right-back whenever there has been an injury crisis but he is very much at the twilight of his career and the Reds need to start looking at younger players to take the club forward.
Nathaniel Clyne, who is currently on loan at Bournemouth, is certainly a viable alternative but Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been too keen to throw him into action in recent years. Hence, a new right-back, and more importantly a dynamic and high-flying one like Mazraoui, certainly fits the bill at Anfield.
Liverpool are still very much in the Premier League title race this season, as the Reds look to beat Man City to their first domestic league title in 28 years.
They have also done exceedingly well to get to the semi-finals of the Champions League in successive seasons but Klopp should look to add more depth to his ranks, which in turn, would help increase competition for places and bring the best out of the existing players as well.
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Ajax are known to be good sellers in the transfer window and they would certainly want a sizeable amount to part ways with their highly-rated academy product. That, however, should not stop Liverpool from testing Ajax’s resolve with their financial muscle.